Posts Tagged ‘Rasteau’

Two Rhones from 2005

January 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Back in August we drank a bottle of 2003 Charbonniere, Vacqueyras and in my post I promised to open a bottle of the 2005 within a few weeks.  Well, those few weeks turned into several months but I did not forget.  Having just bought the 2005 Reserve Saint Dominique, Rasteau from MacArthurs I thought it would be fun to try two wines from the same vintage.  The 2005 Charbonniere, Vacqueyras is a small step up from the 2003.  If you happen to have these vintages in your cellar they will both develop further with the 2003 becoming ready before the 2005.  If you do not have any then new vintages should be worth checking out.

I did not get much joy from the 2005 Saint Dominique, Rasteau.  There are other wines I would rather drink for the same price.  That said, there does appear to be potential in this wine.  I would certainly buy one bottle to try in three to five years.

2005 Reserve Saint Dominique, Rasteau – $20
Imported by Simon N Cellars.  There is a nose of dark red fruit, cherry, herbs, and a fresh hint from spearmint.  In the mouth it remained tight over two days with contemporary blue fruit, a bit of minerals, and a hint of spicy character.  There are a fair amount of coarse, drying tannins which coat the mouth.  There is a good aftertaste with incense ad tobacco notes.  In the end this did not give up much and clearly needs age.  I would cellar it another 3-5 years.

2005 Domaine de la Charbonniere, Vacqueyras – $20
Imported by MacArthurs.  This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah that was aged for 6-8 months in big oak tanks.  There is a light nose of mixed fruit.  In the mouth the red and blue fruits are complements by stones.  The strong flavors have midpalate ripeness and an inky quality before they expand into a chewy texture with flavors of spices, a “salty” note according to Jenn, and a wood note.  This wine took over two hours to open up upon which the fruit became redder with cranberry flavors.  I would cellar this good wine for 3-5 more years.

Brown Bags at Weygandt Wines

December 15, 2011 2 comments

Just Some of the Brown-Bagged Wines

Last night I stopped by at Weygandt Wines for the monthly Food and Wine Bloggers night.  Hosted by Tim O’Rourke with invitations sent out by Joon Song of Vinicultured, the event was attended by several bloggers, people in the business, and many wine lovers.  The theme was a blind tasting and in the end there were 14 bottles of wine sourced from both the store and other places.  I suspect two dozen people rotated through.  To some degree everyone attempted to guess what they were drinking but that did not distract from social, talkative, enjoyment.

I enjoyed the range of wines with the Jean Francois Ganevat, Poulsard being the most unusual experience.  Of the whites I enjoyed the 2010 Gerard & Pierre Morin, Sancerre along with the 2008 Heitz, Sauvignon Blanc.  In terms of the red wines the  2010 Domaine Collotte is of good value, the 2002 Olga Raffault interesting, the 2007 Domaine Dugat-Py, Gevrey Chambertin was very drinkable, the 2009 Domaine les Aphillanthes needs to be revisited, and the 1995 Thunder Mountain was surprisingly good.

I have included my casual tasting notes.  They are presented in the order in which the bottles were numbered but not necessarily tasted.

#1 – 2010 Gerard & Pierre Morin, Vieilles Vignes, Sancerre
This is imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This had a very light color.  There was a light nose, grassy, and textured.  In the mouth there were expansive flavors midpalate, note of stone, and acidity in the back of the mouth.  Attractive. Not Rated.

#2 – 2010 Domaine Collotte, Cuvee de Noble Souche, Burgundy
This is imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  A young color of ruby with purple tinge.  I thought this was Gamay!  The nose had notes of pepper and with time developed a good perfume.  There were some gravelly flavors and fine tannins. Not Rated.

#3 – Jean Francois Ganevat, Poulsard, Cuvee de l’enfant terrible, Cotes du Jura
This is a Jeffrey Alpert Selection.  This was a garnet-orange color.  Fizzy when poured it sported a foxy nose.  Quite unique with piercingly high acidity and citrus notes.  Interesting but not my preference, probably better with food. Not Rated.

#4 – 2002 Olga Raffault, Les Picasses, Chinon
This is imported by Louis/Dressner Selections.  It is made from Cabernet Franc grown on soils of limestone and clay.  A garnet color showing some age.  A perfumed nose, good red fruit, some stemmy forest wood flavors. Not Rated.

#5 – 2010 Chateau de la Bonneliere, Rive Gauche, Chinon
This is imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  A grapey color.  Young Cabernet Franc flavors with plenty of supporting acidity. Not Rated.

#6 – 2007 Domaine Dugat-Py, Vieilles Vignes, Gevrey-Chambertin
This is imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  A garnet color.  The slightly earthy nose is richer.  But the body was slight with precise, elegant flavors, tannins, and lots of acidity. Not Rated.

#7 – 2009 Domaine les Aphillanthes, 1921, Cotes du Rhone Villages Rasteau
This is imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This wine is mostly Grenache sourced from a parcel planted in 1921.  A nose of black fruit and some pencil lead.  Very ripe, powdery fruit, a little spice, grapey tannins in finish.  Quite different from the other reds, powerful, I found this overbearing at first but when I revisited it later the wine had shaken off the baby fat and showed structure. Not Rated.

#8 – 2003 Edmunds St. John, Rocks and Gravel
This blend is roughly 35% Grenache, 35% Syrah, and 30% Mourvedre.  The nose was quite sweet like a rich vanilla-cake with a dash of spice.  The nose was quite different from the body which was quite restrained. Not Rated.

#9 – 2008 Heitz Cellars, Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley
This was enjoyable and drinkable with citrus flavors, decent body, and some concentration. Not Rated.

#10 – 1995 Thunder Mountain, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bates Ranch, Santa Cruz Mountains
This was an aged garnet color.  A very pretty nose, lifted and complex with mature aromas but it ended with a vegetal note.  In the mouth it was crisp, precise, and had an enjoyable texture.  I thought it was Austrian! Not Rated.

#11 – 2004 Chateau de Valcombe, Prestige, Costieres de Nimes
This is imported by Robert Kacher.  The wine is a blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache.  I found a nose of old ladies perfume with flavors of wet cardboard and very fine tannins.  I did not like this. Not Rated.

#12 – 2010 Domaine Croix des Marchands, Fraicheur Perlee, Gaillac
This is imported by First Vine.  The wine is a blend of 34% Mauzac, 33% Muscadelle, and 33% Loin de l’Oeil sourced from 30-year-old vines.  Unfortunately, I did not taste this bottle. Not Rated.

#13 – 2004 James Judd & Sons Vineyards, Malbec Verdot, Paso Robles
This is a blend of 75% Malbec and 25% Petite Verdot.  The 2005 was aged for 22 months in American, French, and Hungarian oak barrels.  I found this overblown and hot, not my style. Not Rated.

#14 – 2008 Blenheim Vineyards, Blenheim Farm Petit Verdot, Monticello
This smelled like bleach in my glass.  After I dumped it the glass took on aromas of tobacco and dried herbs. Not Rated.

Joon and Aaron

2007 Domaine Santa Duc, Cuvee Blovac, Rasteau, Cotes du Rhone Villages

This is just a quick post about an affordable selection from this estate 19th century estate.  We recently drank  the 1998 Prestige de Hautes Garrigues, Gigondas made by Yves Gras.  That cuvee is a polarizing, modern style of Gigondas.  The Les Blovac is a bit modern but is an enjoyable daily wine.  Les Blovac is blend typically of 80% Grenache, 10% , and 10% Mourvedre.  The vineyards are on south-facing hills of clay, sand, and stoney soil.

This wine is available at MacArthur’s for $16.  If you slurp this down within an hour or two you are bound to be a bit disappointed.  Give it several hours of air and it turns into a good value wine.

2007 Domaine Santa Duc, Cuvee Blovac, Rasteau, Cotes du Rhone Villages
This wine has a light, reticent nose of purple fruits with some raspberry and Kirsch. There are dark red fruits, some toast then blackcurrant and licorice and inkiness. The wine starts off quite tight but after several hours it opens up to reveal gritty spice, stones, and steely, young blue fruit. There fine tannins in the finish followed by black berries and minerals in the aftertaste.  I would cellar this wine.  **(*) 2015-2022.

Tasting Notes from the 1999 Dinner


Here are my tasting notes from our 1999 dinner.  I was running around a bit so my notes are a bit casual.  However, Lou will eventually be posting his notes.  He was able to taste the Trimbach and Meulenhof on the second night.

The Whites

1999 Jean Noel Gagnard , Clos de la Maltroye 1er Cru, Chassagne-Montrachet, Burgundy
This wine had a light nose of yeast, toasted, and reduction.  It was rounder in the mouth, a bit coarse with tannins and some heat.  There was apple-like acidity and some lavender/perfume with air.  This was drinkable but not in the best shape.  Good thing it was a bin-end.  * Now.

1999 Trimbach, Gewurztraminer, Cuvee des Seigneurs Ribeaupierre, Alsace
This showed a light-medium color of straw with touches of gold.  A light to medium nose of tropical fruit.  In the mouth there were steely flavors of mango in this medium bodied wine.  The flavors leaned towards floral highlights.  It was a little flabby towards the finish.  ** Now.

The Reds

1999 Torbreck, The Steading, Barossa (Group 1st, My 1st)
The nose revealed waves of rich fruit and spices galore.  The rich fruit continued into the mouth with a youthful core of black fruits and lovely spices in the aftertaste.  A very well made wine with good complexity.  **** Now-2017.

1999 R.H. Phillips, EXP Viaje, Syrah (Group 2nd)
This had the sweetest nose of the reds.  It came across as a rather young wine with ample red fruit, pepper, and spices in the finish.  There were darker fruit flavors in the aftertaste.  On the second night it was just a softer version as there were gobs of fruit and spice and a dark fruit aftertaste.  ***(*) Now-2019.

1999 Bruno Clair, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St. Jacques, 1er Cru (Group 3rd, My 3rd)
This showed softer, more fruit driven flavors.  It had a strong, pure Pinot Noir like profile.  It was a very enjoyable and easy wine to drink.  It is still young and only just starting to show hints of complexity.  My only complaint is that the flavors thinned out a bit in the finish.  **(*) 2015-2022.

1999 Fattoria de Felsina Berardanga, Rancia, Chianti Classico (Group 4th, My 2nd)
This sported a light, lithe nose of blackcurrant.  There were fine tannins that coated the mouth.  Good aftertaste, good wine.  On the second night it had a light, scented nose followed by calm, complex flavors in the mouth.  It was still going strong.  **** Now-2017.

1999 Chateau Musar, Bekaa Valley (Group tied 5th)
A little bit of nail polish on the night.  Then sweet, round fruit in the mouth, lean finish and flavors turning towards bright blue fruit.  A seriously underperforming bottle and nothing like the one I had last year. * Now.

1999 Tardieu-Laurent, Vieilles Vignes, Saint-Joseph (Group tied 5th, My 4th)
This had flavors of red fruit with an underlying layer of supportive dark fruit.  It turned towards red fruit in the finish, somewhat tart, but with a nice woodsy character.  ** Now-2015.

1999 Hardys, Shiraz, Eileen Hardy, South Australia (Group 7th)
This had one of the darkest core of color.  It strutted New World Syrah aromas with Eucalyptus notes that reminded me if Jim Barry’s Cover Drive.  The flavors followed the nose.  The long aftertaste persisted with red fruits and herbs.  On the second night it continued to sport Eucalyptus that was very fresh and pure.  ** Now-2017.

1999 Paitin di Pasquero-Elia, Barbaresco (Group 8th)
Very old-looking with a lot of bricking and some garnet.  This had a restrained nose, volatile acidity, and just hints of complex, light fruit.  But in the mouth the fruit was also very learn and overwhelmed by a heavy amount of harsh tannins and coarse aftertaste.  On the second night it still had a wooded nose, lean fruit, and overwhelming tannins. * Now.

1999 E. Pira and Figli, Via Nuova, Barolo (Group 9th)
A light color in the glass.  There was a lifted nose of cedar.  In the mouth there were woodsy flavors of roses, light+ acidity, and coarse but ripe tannins that coated the lips.  It came across as totally shut down.  On the second night it showed more scented roses on the nose.  In the mouth the fruit was gritty and red, with dark red fruit in the aftertaste.  More lip coating tannins. *(**) 2017-2022.

1999 Font de Michelle, Cuvee Etienne Gonnet,Chateauneuf du Pape (Corked)
This wine was corked.  Not Rated.


1999 Meulenhof, Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Auslese, Mosel
I was running around at this point so I did not take a note.  But I remember a lovely golden color, good lush flavors there were perfectly supported by the acidity.  There is plenty of life left but so easy to drink.  A bargain at $25 per 500 mL.  *** Now-2022.

Extra Wines

1999 Domaine Les Paillieres, Gigondas
In the glass there is a medium ruby/garnet core.  This wine is still young, shows good dark fruit, minerals, and some inky/glycerine qualities.  The flavors turn towards pepper in the finish followed by good, coarse tannins that coat the mouth.  A very drinkable wine.  *** Now-2015.

1999 Gourt du Mautens, Cotes du Rhone Villages, Rasteau
A very youthful wine with grippy, gritty fruit flavors.  A little bit of freshness, nice mouthfeel, and plenty of fine tannins from wood.  Even less advanced than the Paillieres.  I preferred the Paillieres.  **(*) 2015-2019.

1999 Domaine du Caillou, Chateauneuf du Pape
A lighter, more acidic style of Chateauneuf.  There were medium round blue fruit flavors.  ** Now.

1999 Domaine de la Pinede, Chateauneuf du Pape (Corked)
This wine was corked.  Not Rated.

A 1999 Tasting and Dinner

On Saturday a small group crammed in to our small dinning room for a 1999 themed evening. All of the wines were of the 1999 vintage and all of the dishes were inspired by Gourmet and Bon Appetit recipes from 1999. It was an eclectic group in terms of wine experience.  Many of the bottles still contain leftover wine.  I will retaste the wines tonight then post my notes tomorrow.

White Wines
1999 Jean Noel Gagnard , Clos de la Maltroye 1er Cru, Chassagne-Montrachet, Burgundy
1999 Trimbach, Gewurztraminer, Cuvee des Seigneurs Ribeaupierre, Alsace

The ten red wines were double-decanted two hours ahead of time then brown bagged.  I have listed the red wines in order of group preference.  The Torbreck is a lovely wine and appeared to be universally liked.  The R.H. Phillips demonstrated its new world style and remains youthful.  The Bruno Clair was easy to drink and is just starting to gain complexity.  The Felsina is a really good wine and is consistently pleasing across vintages.  I personally thought the Musar was underperforming and has issues.  The Tardieu-Laurent pleased with its modern style charms.  The Hardy’s had an Aussie eucalyptus quality to it.  I thought the Paitin was coarse and showing some VA.  the Pira and Figli is quite young and shutdown but will be lovely in the future.

Red Wines
1999 Torbreck, The Steading, Barossa
1999 R.H. Phillips, EXP Viaje, Syrah
1999 Bruno Clair, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St. Jacques, 1er Cru
1999 Fattoria de Felsina Berardanga, Rancia, Chianti Classico
1999 Chateau Musar, Bekka Valley
1999 Tardieu-Laurent, Vieilles Vignes, Saint-Joseph
1999 Hardys, Shiraz, Eileen Hardy, South Australia
1999 Paitin di Pasquero-Elia, Barbaresco
1999 E. Pira and Figli, Via Nuova, Barolo
1999 Font de Michelle, Cuvee Etienne Gonnet,Chateauneuf du Pape (Corked)

Sweet Wine
1999 Meulenhof, Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Auslese, Mosel

Bonus Wines
1999 Domaine Les Paillieres, Gigondas
1999 Gourt du Mautens, Cotes du Rhone Villages, Rasteau
1999 Domaine du Caillou, Chateauneuf du Pape
1999 Domaine de la Pinede, Chateauneuf du Pape (Corked)

Washington State and Others

March 6, 2010 2 comments
A small group of us got together for a last minute, casual tasting this weekend by the warmth of a roaring fire. Present were Lou, Shane, Denise, Jenn and myself. The wines were brown-bagged for fun. The two cabs were served last and everyone was aware they would be distinctly different. The K Vintners, Abeja, and O’Shea Scarborough were double-decanted one hour prior to the tasting. Everything else was double-decanted right before the tasting.

At the end everyone commented on the pleasure of tasting a diverse set of wines. The K Vintners bottle stumped two of the tasters who couldn’t figure out where it was from and were leaning towards Australia. The Tardieu-Laurent continued to significantly develop throughout the night and suffered in ranking as a result. The Hogue was quite lovely and firing on all cylinders. I thought the Thelema offered a South African profile.

2007 Tardieu-Laurent, Rasteau Vieilles Vignes
This is 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah aged in new and one year old oak casks. At first a light nose of earthy, wild aromas. It was very tight in the mouth, with not a lot coming out. But after an hour it morphed showing sweeter red, gritty fruit, with raspberry candy flavors in a powerful frame. Definitely young. Another taster commented that it was soft and subtle.

2006 Shane, The Unknown, Syrah, Sonoma County
125 cases of this were made by Shane Finley. When he is not working at Kostra Browne he makes these wines. Showing a light-plus nose of brighter, red fruit, and smoke from toast. This was the biggest, roundest, and most extracted of all showing bluer fruit in the finish. This was a standout and could use some more time to integrate. Another taster found there to be more fruit and slight more viscous body than the T-L.

2007 K Vintners, Pheasant Vineyard, Syrah, Walla Walla
191 cases were made from a vineyard only planted in 2000 on the Wahluke Slope! This wine sported a very light nose of dark fruit. It had good mouth feel, dark red fruit, and a camphor-like aftertaste. The tannins creep up in the finish, where some acidity comes out as dark fruit flavors fill the mouth. Still young but a pleasure to drink. Another taster noted the licorice and tar overtones along with higher acidity and found it a very nice wine to drink.

2007 Abeja, Syrah, Walla Walla
200-300 cases were made from fruit grown at 1310 feetat the cooler Mill Creek Vineyard. A light-plus nose of toasty oak. The tightly wound dark fruit rounded out and opened up with more air to take on a bluer tint. It had an expanding aftertaste. This one didn’t give up much but seemed, perhaps, to have potential. Others found this one tannic! On the second night it fell apart into a disjointed mess that we dumped.

2005 O’Shea Scarborough, The Immortal, Syrah, Columbia Valley
Less than 75 cases made of this inaugural vintage from Lewis Vineyard. A nose and palate of tart, red raspberry fruit, “sour patch” flavors and a very tart finish. This was rather polarizing and clearly the least favor wine of the night. One commented it was dark, tinny, and chalky. This held together better than the Abeja on the second night but was not enjoyable to drink and was dumped.

1999 Hogue, Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley
Made from 75% Cabernet Sauvignon with varying amounts of Merlot, Syrah, and Cabernet Franc aged two years in oak barrels. The Cab comes from Wahluke Slope. A good medium nose screaming dusty Bordeaux. In the mouth there were round flavors, of dusty, gritty fruit perfumed with cinnamon spice. It thinned out a bit in the finish This is drinking really well right now.

2001 Thelema, Cabernet Sauvignon, Stellenbosch
100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 20 months in French oak, half new. A mature nose of eucalyptus. This showed softer, looser-knit fruit withblack currant and dark berries spreading out into a soft, flowy finish.

Two Southern Rhone Wines, 10 April 2009

Here are notes on a couple of Rhones Jenn and I drank back in April 2009.

I’d cellar both of these and drink young, juicy 2007s instead. The Grand Bois can be drunk now but should give more in a few years. The Montirius is rather shutdown and didn’t give up the myriad of delicate aromas I attribute to their wines.

2006 Domaine les Grand Bois, Cuvee Marc, Rasteau, Cotes du Rhone Villages – $18
This wine is a blend of 50% Grenache, 25% Syrah, and 25% Mourvedre. Medium+ dark cherry/purple color. A light nose of dark blue fruit, plum, and some spice. This medium-weight wine has dark blue fruit that is framed by ample fine tannins. The chewy aftertaste has dark blue flavors and drying tannins. Will give more pleasure in a few years.

2005 Montirius, Cuvee La Garrigue, Vacqueyras – $21
This wine is 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah from vines averaging 55 years of age. This is medium ruby in the glass. There is a light nose of higher-toned red fruit. This wine is young all around, with bright red fruit in the mouth and strong, fine, young tannins. With air a savory quality comes out, the fruit fades somewhat as more minerals come through. This seems to be shutting down and should be cellared for a few years.